People in Finland are paying more for medicinal products than their counterparts elsewhere in the Nordics, finds a new study by Fimea, Kela and THL. (Eija Kontio – Lehtikuva)


THE FINNISH SYSTEM of government-issued price lists for medicinal products has led to higher medicine prices than the corresponding systems in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on Monday published the results of a preliminary study of the total costs of pharmaceutical services and current state of pharmacy finances conducted by the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).

The study details the costs incurred by the society for the retail distribution of medicinal products and organisation of pharmaceutical services, as well as models how the costs would change due to the adoption of the systems in place elsewhere in the Nordics.

The medicinal product price list determines the amount of compensation paid by the state to pharmacies for distributing medicines to outpatients.

The study found that the margin of pharmacies for the retail sales of prescription drugs was 435 million euros in Finland in 2018. The margin, however, would have been 83–201 million euros lower with the other pricing systems.

“The preliminary study indicates that the pricing systems of the reference countries seem to be more affordable for organising pharmaceutical distribution than the current system in Finland,” reads a press release from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

“The majority of medicine users would also see their costs decrease or remain unchanged if one of the models in the simulation was used.”

The simulations were conducted by Kela.

A total of 3.3 billion euros worth of medicines were sold in Finland in 2018. Over three-quarters of the total was derived from the sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines to outpatients.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi